Reprinted with permission of Eugene Daily News Written by Julia Crowley
Last week I mentioned I was going to be busy taking advantage of Eugene’s many wine related events that happen on a weekly basis, so starting on Wednesday evening, some friends and I hit the town.It wasn’t quite what we expected. Our plan was to meet at Cafe Soriah at 4 pm to take advantage of their Wine Wednesday 1/2 off bottles of wine from their impressive wine list, but when we got there, we realized they didn’t open until 5 pm. As we stood in the pouring rain, we quickly came up with an alternate plan when we saw that Hot Mama’s Wings, just a few doors down, was open for business.
Once we were inside, we settled into a comfortable booth and browsed the menu. Hoping for wine, their wine list was simply house reds and whites, and we soon found out that the wine was boxed wine, made by Black Box Wine. Since I was determined to have a glass of wine, I put my fears of boxed wine away, and ordered a glass of the Pinot Grigio to go with the Thai Peanut Chicken Wings, the next best alternative to a Riesling with a Thai based dish.
Although the Pinot Grigio was not comparable to the much anticipated Oregon pinot noir I was planning on ordering at Soriah, it wasn’t all that bad. It displayed aromas of lemon and melon, and had a crisp apple flavor with a lightly lingering finish. There wasn’t much depth of character, but it was better than I thought it was going to be, and it actually went well with the delicious Thai Peanut chicken wings. I was very impressed with the food, atmosphere and service, and this won’t be the last time I write about Hot Mama’s Wings.
After we were finished with our wings and boxed wine, it was past 5 pm, so we braved the pouring rain again to head back over to Cafe Soriah-where the wine list literally made my mouth water. But, before we could order a bottle of stellar pinot noir, we were informed that their Wine Wednesdays had been changed from every Wednesday to just the last Wednesday of the month, so no 1/2 off for us. Disappointed, we settled on ordering a glass instead of a bottle, and although their available wine by the glass did not offer an Oregon pinot noir, they just happened to have a bottle of Oregon’s Artisanal Wine Cellars pinot noir open, so the bartender offered us a taste of the French pinot noir on the menu and the Artisanal pinot noir. They were both excellent, but I undoubtedly ended up with a glass of the Artisanal pinot noir, which was close enough to what I had originally planned on ordering and chock full of the beautiful flavors of Oregon fruit.
Even when things don’t always go as planned, it’s no difficult task to enjoy the splendors of wine in Eugene. After Wednesday, Friday night was spent sipping the delicious Stone’s Throw pinot noir at Territorial Vineyards and Wine Company, and Sunday was spent looking out over the valley from the tasting room at near by Noble Estate Vineyard. Life is good.